The businesswoman and her claws
by Sarah Thomson
I was reading over some statistics the other day. Not that I’m one to follow statistics, but sometimes I feel this need to see how I fit into the world. I discovered that women own 34 percent of small and mid-sized businesses and they are likely to have fewer than 20 employees. Women also tend to have businesses in the service sector. What stood out most, however, was that women-owned businesses are not producing the revenue of their male counterparts. The truth is that businesswomen have a handicap and very few women seem able to get around it.
A few years ago, one of Canada’s most successful female entrepreneurs told me the key to her success was her mandate to give to others and build long-term relationships. Since meeting her, I have made it a point to study successful leaders and what I notice most is that successful leaders aren’t always concerned with immediate returns. They will often back people to gain long-term, committed support. In contrast, bad leaders tend to have a much more narrow vision, looking only at the task at hand, the immediate gains, while completely ignoring the opportunity a long-term relationship might offer. The fact is that men seem far more aware of the need to build support networks and create strong relationships that feed into them.
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